Enrollment & Eligibility Information

New Castle County Head Start, Inc. is a federally funded program designed to serve children ages 3 to 5 from low-income families including children with disabilities. The Head Start program allocates a majority of the program's slots to families whose incomes fall at or below the federal poverty guidelines. Head Start is permitted to serve a small percentage of families whose incomes exceed the guidelines.

Photo of three boys playing with wooden train tracksEligibility for the Head Start program is based on the following:

  1. age of the child
  2. family income level
  3. categorical eligibility such as foster care status, homelessness or family enrollment in a public assistance program.

The program serves children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. To be eligible, a child must be at least three years old prior to August 31st of the enrollment year. Some exceptions are made for those children who have documentation of a disability.

Parents who wish to enroll their child in the Head Start program should contact the center closest to them to make an enrollment appointment with a Head Start staff member who will assist the parents through the application process. Head Start requests that parents bring the following documentation to their enrollment appointment:

  1. Proof of family income for one month, e.g., pay stub or W2 tax return
  2. Proof of the child's age, e.g., birth certificate
  3. Proof of enrollment in a Public Assistance program, e.g., Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI).
  4. Foster care documentation
  5. Medical insurance card
  6. Documentation of dental exam and child health appraisal or physical including tuberculosis, lead, hemoglobin, hearing, height and weight.

Photo of teacher working on a puzzle with two students.Once the application is complete, all families are assigned a weighted scale number depending on the demand factors or need associated with their family. Additional points are given to children with a documented disability. Those families with the highest weighted scale number, i.e., those families with the greatest need, will be given enrollment priority. The program is continually accepting applications and assigning families to the wait list. Once an enrollment slot becomes available, the family with the highest weighted scale number will be offered the program opening. This process ensures that New Castle County Head Start, Inc. is always providing services to those families with the greatest need.

All families who accepted will be sent a letter stating whether they have met the enrollment qualifications. Included with that letter may be a list of additional documentation that the program will need upon, or shortly after, enrollment including, child health appraisal, e.g., physical, dental records and immunization records. The New Castle County Head Start, Inc. program is required to obtain this information for all enrolled children in the program. Head Start staff will assist parents to ensure that all the required information is obtained.

View the Parent Handbook 

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